Today, a reader sent me this video produced by a Royal Caribbean crew member who operates The Curious Lens of Martina from Argentina. Crew member Martina explains that the Serenade of the Seas will operate as a floating “quarantine or hospital ship” to “assist the rest of the fleet.” This “new mission,” as Maria explains, is to assist the fleet in accepting the transfer of COVID-19 positive crew members from other Royal Caribbean cruise ships sailing Western Caribbean itineraries so that they can continue to call on Caribbean ports (which apparently have reporting requirements that block ships from calling when their total population (of guests and crew members exceeds 1%).

To place this news in context, Royal Caribbean has assembled a fleet of cruise ships to house their crew members who test positive for COVID-19 and to provide medical treatment to those who are symptomatic.  Two of the other ships, the Vision of the Seas and the Rhapsody of the Seas, are currently at maximum capacity with over 1,500 infected crew members on each ship. The majority of the crew members are symptomatic.

A third Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Jewel of the Seas, conducted its first transfer of infected / ill crew members from the Harmony of the Seas yesterday morning when it brought aboard 237 crew members. The Oasis of the Seas also made a crew transfer of infected crew members to the Jewel.

The video if course does not mention these types of details.

The total number of infected crew members on the Jewel is currently 720 employees (according to a crew member on the Jewel who wishes to remain anonymous), including the 187 crew members (which increased in the last day from 183 crew members) on the Jewel who were already infected / ill.

With many hundreds of crew members becoming infected on Royal Caribbean ships, it is just a matter of time before the Jewel and Sensation also reach maximum capacity.  All of the four Royal Caribbean quarantine / hospital ships are requiring crew members to share cabins. We do not yet know how many ship doctors or nurses are employed on the Serenade. If it is staffed like the Vision with only two doctors and four nurses for over 1,500 infected / ill crew members, the medical staffing is clearly inadequate. Stuffing over a thousand infected and ill crew members together on an old ship like the Serenade with a questionable ability to provide ventilation and circulation of fresh air is not remotely in the best interest of the physical or mental condition of its hard working crew members.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continue to surge on cruise ships as the industry persists in ignoring the warnings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against travel by cruise ships, irrespective of vaccination status.

Read our first article addressing this issue:

Vision of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas: Royal Caribbean’s “Plague Ships”

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Image credit: Serenade of the Seas – Matt H. Wade, CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikiperia,